Galette Bressane, the lost French pastry

As I sat down to write this post, it dawned on me that I haven't really updated readers on my now no-longer-new job. A classic case of 'I want to do a beautiful, well-thought-out post' which translates into 'Beautiful, well-thought-out post never gets written'. I've been heading up the sweet side of San Sebastián's newest bakery since July...more on that soon (I promise). 

I went on a French kick at the bakery recently, working up choux paste, financiers, and this pastry, the galette bressane.  Intrigued by an instagram post by Daniel Lindeberg, Stockholm's pastry genius, I set out to recreate this fairly under-appreciated sweet from the Ain/Bresse region of France. It could be called a cousin of the galette au sucre de Pérouges, which is sweeter and less dairy focused, perhaps, than the galette bressane. For those of us, however, who do not posess a phD in esoteric pastry variations, a useful descriptor would be brioche meets danish.

To make, a small round of brioche is rolled out to a circle. Once you allow it to proof, you pinch a border and fill the inside of the border with the best creme fraîche you can find. From that point on, the possibilities are endless—finish with a simple sprinkling of sugar or garnish with raspberries and candied almonds.  The final product (baked at a relatively high temperature, since we are speaking of bread dough here), has that lovely taste of baked cream, which forms a nice textural contrast with the spongy base. 

The reactions varied, including one "I like it, but I don't get it."  It may be true that this is a pastry that needs a context, if you are the type of person who goes in for already-established breakfast goods. But if you have an open mind and a hole in your belly, this sweet strikes just the right balance between moist, rich, light, and slightly sugary.

If you have a killer brioche recipe, feel free to sub with it.

galette bressane

  • 170g cake flour
  • 30g sugar
  • 10g yeast
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 130g eggs (2 whole eggs and a bit of yolk, depending on size)
  • 80g butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 40g creme fraiche
  • 40 g sugar

Sift together dry ingredients. Stir in the eggs, then add butter. Work the dough, kneading about five minutes. Allow it to rest about an hour, then place it in the fridge overnight or for half a day.

Roll out circles 1/4 in thick and allow to rise for about two hours.

Preheat oven to 450º. Pinch a border of about 3/4 inch. Prick the center of the circle with a fork a few times and brush with an egg wash. Mix creme fraiche with salt, and beat to stiff peaks. Spread over the center and sprinkle with sugar. (here's where you can add chocolate, raspberries, nuts, etc).

Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.


P.S. If you find yourself near the Bresse region, Lucy has some recommendations on her blog for where to get a good one: "One is on Wednesday evenings at the market on Place Carnot, and the other is at a bakery on rue St. Jean in the 5th arrondissement".